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How to help our Girl Scout sisters on the East Coast

Our thoughts are with our Girl Scout sisters on the East Coast as they deal with Superstorm Sandy aftermath!

As of Nov. 7, 2012, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has lifted the fundraising restrictions to enable girls to raise money for Girl Scouting recovery efforts in the eight councils. (It is still not permitted for Girl Scouts to raise money for other organizations.) We encourage you to give to Girl Scouting for recovery in these eight councils. Contributions may be directed to a specific council or councils through their online giving sites. GSUSA also will establish a Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund to help address the needs of councils affected by the storm, and these funds will be directed to those councils once they have assessed their needs.  To give, go to donate.girlscouts.org/hurricanerecovery where you will find links to the online giving sites for all eight councils, as well as the giving form for the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

GSUSA and the councils on the East Coast thank everyone for the outpouring of support. For now, the affected councils ask for time to assess and focus on their specific needs and to get back up and running. While we know you wish to support the affected councils, please be patient and hold off on calling or contacting the councils directly, so they may keep their attention focused on the highest recovery priorities. Although material donations and Girl Scout troop offers of assistance are appreciated, the councils are not currently in a position to process and organize them. The moral support and encouragement has been appreciated. The GSUSA team will be in touch on how you can further assist councils/Girl Scouts in their recovery efforts as the time becomes right. Girl Scouts have displayed tremendous courage, confidence, and character during this trying time, and we know they will continue to do so as the region continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Want to collect “stuff” for Sandy relief? Here are links to a couple of projects we recommend:

  • A collection in the Denver Metro Area of needed supplies for the Barrier Island communities, including Long Beach Long Island, NY. Organized by Troop Leader Jan Mazotti and her company ICOSA. Contact her at JanM@icosamag.com or janbo47@comcast.net for more information. Collections will go to the East Coast the week of Nov. 12th. They are also encouraging Girl Scouts to send “thinking of you notes” with the items.
  • Operation Be A Sister

Durango Fall Festival planned by Girl Scouts

Today was an amazing day! As an English teacher, I generally tell my students not to start their essays/articles/stories out that way, but this statement so beautifully embodies the truth that I can’t begin any other way. Today was an amazing day!

Over the past month, most of my Girl Scout Cadette troop was attending volleyball practice, while two dedicated girls attended our Girl Scout meetings. Alexis and Hailey faithfully showed up each week to plan our First Annual Community Fall Festival. They agonized over pricing, a ticket system, types of booths, how to advertise, etc. Then the sixth week of school, Holly (another of our Girl Scouts) was able to join us.  Together with the first two, they tackled advertising, dividing up who was going to do which tasks in order to spread the word. After all, we wanted the whole community to attend, not just Girl Scouts. The week of the festival, the rest of our nine girls joined the meeting, solidifying what they were going to do for their booths.

Throughout this last week of planning, we did everything we could to garner food and prize donations from local restaurants/businesses.  We asked businesses to put up posters. We got announcements put on the community calendars of our local radio stations, and we even got a local brief put in the newspaper.

My nails have never been shorter than they were as I chewed on them this week. I worried so much that things wouldn’t come together, that other Girl Scout troops might not show up with their booths, or that the weather would turn and it would snow. I was stressed out because at least two schools were holding their carnivals today, and so was a local neighborhood community. What if my own girls didn’t show up? What if no one came?

I needn’t have worried. More than 50 people attended our  First Annual Fall Festival on Oct. 27. Every single Girl Scout in my troop showed up, fully prepared to run her booth. All of the troops who committed to running booths were there. At one point, I looked over the green and saw families who didn’t know each other talking with one another over snacks. I saw children laughing and enjoying the creativity of all the booths: Alexis and Hailey with their Gross Bucket guessing  game, Leslie with her Wool Pets, Lilly and Jasmine with their Egg Race/S’mores, Bailey and Skye with their Paper Plate Ghosts, Holly’s Scarecrow Dressing/Picture booth, and Rachel’s Throw-Down Carnival game, along with all the other booths there.  What I saw was a community coming together to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather.

Yes, today was an amazing day!

Submitted by Kristen Gurzick, Troop Leader (Troop 1568, Durango)

Montrose Girl Scout earns Gold Award

Congratulations to Montrose Girl Scout Elizabeth Giles, who earned Girl Scouts’ highest award, the Gold Award over the summer of 2012. To earn the Gold Award Elizabeth made 13 quilts for the Bright Beginnings Preschool and Childcare Center, who was very excited to receive the finished project which they plan to use in their infant room. Elizabeth said the quilts “will remind the kids they were thought of and cared for.” Elizabeth learned to quilt when she was 8-years-old from her Grandma. Elizabeth is currently a freshman at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. Through Girl Scouts, Elizabeth said she learned many valuable things and gained lifelong friends.

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting; it recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to Go Gold, an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.

Pictured is Elizabeth with Daycare Center Directors, Amber Gardner and Casey Best. The Montrose Daily Press also ran a story about Elizabeth’s Gold Award project on Nov. 22nd.

Girl Scouts learn about wildlife at Fountain Creek Nature Center

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Submitted by Hollie Hambly

We recently planned an outing at the Fountain Creek Nature center, where we were able to meet all the requirements for the Animal Habitats Badge. While we were there we had a great time cleaning trash from the river and learning all about wildlife.

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Girl Scouts honor their founder on Day of the Dead

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Girl Scouts of Colorado recognized Day of the Dead with a community event at Regis University on Thursday evening, Nov. 1st. More than 100 girls and their families participated in the event, which celebrated the life of Girl Scouts’ late founder, Juliette Gordon Low, who would have been 152 on Oct. 31st. Activities during the event included Day of the Dead rituals such as sugar skull decorating and an altar for Girl Scouts’ founder and loved ones participants wanted to honor. Participants also enjoyed some Girl Scout activities, such as dressing up in vintage uniforms and making dream catchers and dream boards. Special thanks goes to Regis University for being the co-sponsor of this event.

Girl Scouts of Colorado belongs to the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, which boasts a membership of 10 million girls and adults in 145 counties. Girl Scouting strives to increase girls’ awareness about the world, promote cross-cultural learning opportunities, and educate girls on relevant global issues that inspire them to take action. Our goal is to promote a global voice for girls and foster responsible global citizens who make the world a better place.

Article on this event in YourHub Denver

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Happy Halloween Birthday Party celebrates founder’s birthday

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Submitted by Shelley Sherrill
Applewood Service Unit

On October 23rd, Cadette Troop 54341 from Prospect Valley Elementary School hosted a Halloween Birthday Party for Daisies and Brownies to celebrate Juliette Low’s birthday. They served birthday cake, made birthday party treat bags for everyone, and had four activity stations. The activities included: Girl Scout Bingo, Fun Patch Match Game, Juliette Low’s Story – Kim’s Game, and a Puppet Theatre with puppet making. They even got some Boy Scouts to help them out with Juliette Low’s story, to represent her involvement with Lord Baden Powell and his work with the Boy Scouts. At the end of the evening, a representative from the Horse Protection League gave a great presentation in honor of Juliette Low’s love for horses.

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Troop 75 shares Halloween fun with seniors

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Submitted by Rachel Whitmire
Denver

On October 24th, 21 girls from Daisy/Brownie Troop 75 paid a visit to Sunrise Senior Living in Cherry Creek. The girls were hard at work the previous meeting, creating Halloween gifts, treats and decorations for each of the 87 residents. The youngest Daisies arrived first for our visit. They learned about the special needs of seniors, then jumped right in, handing out ghost lollipops to residents. A lively game of Halloween bingo was soon underway, and as the older girls arrived, they joined in the fun. Many of the girls teamed up with residents, while others helped to call out the numbers or hand out their homemade prizes. When bingo came to an end, each girl was individually recognized for her contribution and, of course, her adorable, scary or funny costume. Once the residents were seated for dinner, the girls passed out mummy treat cups, sang songs and paraded through the dining room showing off their costumes. There were smiles all around and it was hard to tell who was having a better time – the Girl Scouts or the residents! Troop 75 is grateful to Sunrise at Cherry Creek for the opportunity and hopes to make a return visit soon!

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Girl Scouts honor 2012 Denver Women of Distinction at Thin Mint Dinner

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A capacity crowd of 550+ joined Girl Scouts of Colorado at the Sheraton Denver Downtown for an exciting Thin Mint Dinner to honor the 2012 Denver-metro class of Girl Scout Women of Distinction. The event raised $200,000+ for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

The event spotlighted Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Live Healthy, Lead Healthy initiative, focusing on self-esteem, good nutrition, exercise and reducing childhood obesity. Premiering at the event was a video on healthy living created by Colorado Springs Girl Scout Troop 3810. (View the video here.) Lead sponsor for this initiative is the Thiry O’Leary Foundation.

Emcees for the event were Cheryl Preheim, 9News anchor, and Marcelo Balboa, Hall of Fame Colorado Rapids player and Monarch High School coach. Troop 3449 opened the event with a flag ceremony and instrumental musical assistance provided by Girl Scouts of Troop 1472, Victoria Shead (violin) and Melissa Cardenas (cello). The emcees also led an inspirational panel discussion at the event with this year’s Women of Distinction honorees on women’s leadership. (View the video here.)

The three-course dinner featured the creative use of Girl Scout Cookies. (View the recipes here.) Honorary event chair was Former First Lady of Colorado Jeannie Ritter (2009 Woman of Distinction). Event co-chairs were Susan Knox with Cricket and Katherine Peck (1998 Woman of Distinction) with The Gill Foundation.

Girl Scouts of Colorado honors top women leaders in our community as Girl Scout Women of Distinction. These women have reached remarkable levels of achievement as business, philanthropic, government, education and community leaders. They are committed to making the world a better place for the girls of today and tomorrow. They donate their time, talents and experience to Girl Scouting and also support Girl Scouts financially. Since 1997, 387 women have been named as Women of Distinction in the Denver-metro area and raised more than $1.5 million for Girl Scouts of Colorado.

2012 Denver-metro Women of Distinction are: Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, Peg Bradley-Doppes, Juanita Chacon, Tricia Downing, Melba “Mel” Johnston, Denise O’Leary, Maren Stewart (Learn more about these women here.)

Special thanks goes to the following major sponsors of this event: DaVita, Comcast, UMB Bank, Wagner Equipment Company, Anthem BlueCross and BlueShield, FirstBank and Delta Dental of Colorado.

For more information on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Women of Distinction program, visit our website at girlscoutsofcolorado.org/donors/women-of-distinction. And watch the local press in the next few weeks for articles about this event (we will post links to the stories here too).

Media placements on this event:

Girl Scouts are in love with ZisBoomBah!

In case you have not heard about ZisBoomBah, the amazing program that Girl Scout troops are raving about. ZisBoomBah is an online gaming program for Daisy-Junior Girls Scouts that is centered on Healthy Living. This FREE program for Girl Scouts of Colorado members takes girls through healthy living quests that are fun, interactive, and educational. Troops love this program and here is what they had to say about what they thought about the site. Hollie Hambly a Colorado Springs Girl Scout Junior troop leader loves ZisBoomBah and so do her girls. “Girls are creating obstacle courses, trying new food and recipes at home with their families; they look forward to going on the site and completing the quests.” Hollie’s troop does 30 min of healthy living each troop meeting, “the girls really look forward to that part of the meeting,” said Hollie. A local Denver Girl Scout Brownie troop is planning on using ZisBoomBah to help them complete their Brownie Quest by working with their families around healthy living. “Our troop is earning our Family Star and is planning on using ZisBoomBah to help earn this award,” said Kristin Hamm a Girl Scout Brownie troop leader in the Denver area.

“ZisBoomBah is a creative and fun way for girls to learn about Healthy Living and it is less work for the leader because the activities are already created,” said one leader when asked about the site. Troops also have the freedom to create their own quests that apply to exactly what their troop and girls are working on. “My girls inspired me to write quests for our troop, I wanted ones that the girls could help create,” said Hollie who has created quite a few quests for her troop to complete. When a girl completes a quest she earns points, which she can use to buy accessories for her Antvatar.

What are girls saying…

“I love my Antvatar, I created it, and I get to use my points to dress her up,” said one Girl Scout Junior in Hollie’s troop. My girls love the message boards; they get to talk to each other in a safe and fun environment, stated Hollie. “I really like the Pick Chow program; right now I am trying to get all my stars so I can win my dessert,” stated Hollie’s daughter. Pick Chow is an online quest where girls learn about portions and what we should be eating at each meal. The Girl Scout Juniors and their families love the recipes that they find on the site, and the recipes give families a fun way to try new foods and the girls earn points for their quests in the process.

Are you and your girls ready to sign up? Any girl in a troop or a Juliette can join ZisBoomBah. Whether you just want to do a few quests or want to do 50, you will fall in love with this site. ZisBoomBah really is for everyone! This is a fun, free and amazing resource just for Girl Scouts of Colorado, and you do not want to pass this up. Also, if your troop or individual girl member signs up by November 30th and completes two quests, you will receive the ZisBoomBah fun patch for Free! Check out ZisBoomBah at www.zisboombah.com.

If you are ready to get started or have questions, contact Sloan Moore sloan.moore@gscolorado.org  to get your troop or Girl Scout signed up!

Program Aide trainings coming soon

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Become a Program Aide and sharpen your skills as an emerging young leader. Program Aides can mentor younger girls, help plan and run Girl Scout events or help at Day or Resident summer camps. You must be in the 7th -12th grade to attend one of the basic trainings. Upcoming trainings:

November 10th, Basic Program Aide and service project at the Nature and Raptor Center of Pueblo

December 7-8, Basic Program Aide and Camping Specialty, Tomahawk Ranch, in Bailey

Questions? Contact Kim Petau @ kim.petau@gscolorado.org